12 Food Tips That Will Make Your Body Smile

via Silk Bloom – BuzzFeed

1. Embrace the art of cooking.

The Slow Food movement is anchored in the belief that ingredients, flavors, and preparation matter to your health. Cooking for yourself makes you acutely aware of what you’re eating, and as a result, you eat healthier. It also tastes a lot better, too.

2. Eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables.

12 Food Tips That Will Make Your Body Smile

Anyone can thrive on a plant-based diet, but to do it right, you need variety. The colors of vegetables are reflective of different minerals and antioxidant properties. The more colors in your diet, the better you’ll feel.

3. Focus on the perimeter of the grocery store when you shop.

12 Food Tips That Will Make Your Body Smile

The food located on the walls of the grocery store (vegetables, fruits, bread, dairy, and meat) is the fresh stuff, while the food in the center aisles is generally processed and less healthy.

4. Cut processed and fatty foods from your regular meals.

12 Food Tips That Will Make Your Body Smile

One of the quickest ways to start feeling better with your diet is avoiding fatty, processed food. Avoiding fast food completely is the best place to start.

5. Go nuts on nuts.

Go nuts on nuts.

Gilles Gonthier / CC BY 2.0 / Via Flickr: gillesgonthier

Nuts are packed with protein, which leaves you feeling sated, and they also contain unsaturated fatty acids, which have been shown to improve heart health.

6. Darker greens mean healthier greens.

Darker greens mean healthier greens.

Laurel F / CC BY-SA 2.0 / Via Flickr: laurelfan

There’s a huge difference between a salad made of iceberg lettuce and one made of spinach. Heartier greens such as kale, chard, and collard greens pack a high concentration of vitamins and minerals.

7. Understand the meaning of label buzz words.

Understand the meaning of label buzz words.

tiffany terry / CC BY 2.0 / Via Flickr: 35168673@N03

The word “natural” can be applied to almost anything, even food that is processed and not healthy. Rely instead on the label and seek out fresh food with healthy ingredients you recognize.

8. Replace candy and desserts with fresh fruit.

Mauren Veras / CC BY 2.0

Flickr: mauren

Ramnath Bhat / CC BY 2.0

Flickr: ramnath1971

Processed sugar spikes your energy, but eventually leaves you feeling drained. If you’re in the habit of snacking on candy throughout the day, get your sweet fix from fresh fruit.

9. Embrace unbleached flour and whole grains.

Embrace unbleached flour and whole grains.

Migle Seikyte / CC BY-SA 2.0 / Via Flickr: 69668444@N03

Processed white flour is mostly empty calories. Your body will be at its best if you get your starch intake from complex grains and dark, whole-wheat breads.

10. Eat seasonal fruits and vegetables to get the most nutritional bang for your buck.

WordRidden / CC BY 2.0

Flickr: wordridden

Jessica Spengler / CC BY 2.0

Flickr: wordridden

Selecting the fruits and vegetables that correspond to the season will result in better-tasting meals and cheaper grocery bills. For example, focus on your tomato and squash dishes in the summer and beets and hearty greens like kale in the winter.

11. If you’re eating out, ask about the source of your meat.

If you're eating out, ask about the source of your meat.

Nicholas A. Tonelli / CC BY 2.0 / Via Flickr: nicholas_t

If you eat meat, a good rule of thumb is to eat animals that eat well. This typically means animals raised on natural foods without reliance on antibiotics. Most nicer restaurants are now accustomed to answering questions about dietary restrictions and food sourcing, so don’t feel bad about asking.

12. Seek out balance in all things related to food.

12 Food Tips That Will Make Your Body Smile

And finally, don’t get stressed about being a food perfectionist. Perhaps the most important food tip is to mix things up, eat foods from every food group, eat a variety, and explore innovative ways to prepare it yourself.

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